Hello Trinity Family,
I am sure you have been following the news of the significant increase in the Delta variant causing all sorts of havoc, not only in our country and state, but also here in our own community. Yes, we were good, followed the guidelines and returned to wearing masks at our worship services, even canceling VBS and our Health Fair, but the news just gets more dire with each passing day.
It is the responsibility of the Health Ministries and Disaster Preparedness Committees to be vigilant in assessing the risks that we are willing to take in keeping our members and community safe.
We have been in contact with the Oregon Health Authority, and the outlook for the immediate future gives us significant cause for alarm. The escalating increase in not only new cases of COVID-19, but also significant increases in the “breakthrough” cases, that is people who are fully vaccinated and still get the virus, is skyrocketing. It takes far less time now than ever before to be exposed, perhaps develop symptoms or not, and then pass it on, unknowingly, to others.
We learned that in a recent meeting of the Council Presidents in the Oregon Synod, Greg Shea, who is the Vice-President of the Oregon Synod, reported that many congregations are now temporarily returning to on-line only worship services. In a Synod-wide Disaster Committee meeting, this same response is now more urgently being considered.
With all this information available and concerns evident, the Health Ministries and Disaster Preparedness Committees had a combined meeting to hear from its members and have a conversation regarding what risks we were willing to take. The consensus after much discussion was to recommend to Pastor Aimee, the Staff, and Church Council that we return to our on-line worship beginning this weekend.
Disappointed? Yes! Very much so! It is another bump in the road to get back to some type of normalcy. The committees know how important in-person worship is for our congregation, and are committed to review this decision at least every 3 to 4 weeks, and keep you updated.
BUT, we are also going to intentionally create other options for connecting, celebrating, and doing fun things together on a regular basis. We’ll have ideas and suggestions and invitations for you to join in safe, creative, maybe challenging, and most likely outdoor, ways. We do have many talented people in our congregation to help make this happen!
Also know that this will now put a significant burden on our new Pastor, Pastor Aimee. She did not ask for this! We did let her know that we had a meeting scheduled to discuss this while she was out of town and unavailable, but she indicated that she trusted us in the process and decisions that we might make. It will be all the more difficult for her to get to know you, and however we can help her, that is a commitment we are also making. The Worship and Music Committee will be coordinating her Installation service…and we will celebrate!!!So stay healthy, be vigilant, keep masked indoors and out, and know that this too shall pass.
We are resilient people, and we are caring people. We can do this!! And we ask for your prayers and God to help and guide us.
Your Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Health Ministry and Disaster Preparedness Committee members: Monika Deitchman, Linde Eidenberg, Katie Givens, Marlene Gleason, Stephanie Kistler, Father Roberto Maldonado, Cindy Mastrandrea, Dr. Robert Potter, Marcia Rice, Grea Shea, Phyllis Siebken, Donna Walczak, Jan Wierima
We have a Zoom gathering on Sunday mornings to watch our worship videos together, commune together, and spend time in Fellowship before and after the video. The Zoom gatherings will open at 9 am for conversation, with the video starting at 9:30 am. The link will be sent via email.
Additionally, the church office is closed and no meetings will be held in the building until further notice.